Chadwick Boseman Used His Own Salary to Boost Sienna Miller's '21 Bridges' Pay
By Jackie Willis
Chadwick Boseman made sure that Sienna Miller got the salary she deserved. For Empire's tribute piece for the late actor, the 38-year-old actress remembers how she came to work with the Black Panther star on the 2019 action-thriller 21 Bridges.
"He was a fan of my work, which was thrilling, because it was reciprocated from me to him, tenfold. So he approached me to do it, he offered me this film, and it was at a time when I really didn’t want to work anymore. I’d been working non-stop and I was exhausted, but then I wanted to work with him," she recalls of first speaking with Boseman about the film.
Miller says when the studio wouldn't give her the salary she asked for to work on the big-budget movie, she was reluctant to take on the role offered because it was "an inconvenient time" with her daughter, Marlowe, starting school. That's when Boseman stepped up.
"I said, 'I’ll do it if I’m compensated in the right way.’ And Chadwick ended up donating some of his salary to get me to the number that I had asked for,” she says. “He said that that was what I deserved to be paid."
Miller calls the gesture the "most astounding thing" she's ever encountered. "That kind of thing just doesn’t happen. He said, ‘You’re getting paid what you deserve, and what you’re worth.’ It’s just unfathomable to imagine another man in that town behaving that graciously or respectfully," the actress says in praise of her late co-star. "In the aftermath of this I’ve told other male actor friends of mine that story and they all go very, very quiet and go home and probably have to sit and think about things for a while. But there was no showiness, it was, ‘Of course I’ll get you to that number, because that’s what you should be paid.'"
Boseman died Aug. 28 after battling colon cancer for several years. He was 43.
Here's a look back at his legacy and how some of his other co-stars will remember him.